CAEDC wins ‘road’ game Persistence clouts winning $30 million home run
The Cherokee Area Economic Development Corporation stepping to the plate and taking its swings led to Cherokee County winning $30 million in funding for bridge and highway improvements announced last week by the DOT.
The result of CAEDC’s and Director Bill Anderson’s persistent efforts include these major Cherokee County projects proposed in the 5-year plan (2022-2026): Replacement of the Iowa Highway 3 by-pass bridge with overflow bridge added, paving of U.S. Highway 59 from Cherokee north to Iowa Highway 10, milling U.S. Highway 59 in Cherokee from Linden Street to the Iowa 3 and U.S. 59 interchange, resurfacing C-65 from Washta to U.S. 59, with Silver Creek bridge replacement one mile west of Hwy. 59, and renovating Iowa Highway 3 and 143 intersection south of Marcus.
The CAEDC efforts began three years ago when CAEDC organized a meeting with DOT staff in 2018 to discuss transportation projects in Cherokee. Among topics presented were the paving of Hwy. 59 north through Larrabee and the flooding impacts in Cherokee.
In June 2019 CADEC organized a tour of the community with DOT Commissioner Charese Yanney of Sioux City. She was shown what roads and bridges the flooding closed and impacted, and drone images of the expansive flooding areas.
In September 2020 CAEDC, County Emergency Management, Cherokee County and the City of Cherokee attended the DOT Commission meeting held in Arnolds Park. Anderson and County Emergency Management Coordinator Justin Pritts presented to the commission on the impact of three significant floods in a nine-month period.
Discussion continued with DOT Engineer Dakin Schultz of Sioux City regarding the Hwy. 3 by-pass bridge. At that time $1.5M had been allotted to resurface the existing Hwy. 3 bridge.
Anderson and Pritts advocated for a secondary bridge to mitigate flooding at the by-pass bridge. They maintained communication with Schultz throughout the process.
In March 2020 CAEDC, DOT and Marcus Mayor Harlen Hansen met to discuss possible options for the Hwy. 3 and Hwy. 143 intersection at Marcus.
In September 2020 Schultz announced at Cherokee Rotary that the commission was studying a secondary bridge on Hwy. 3 by-pass and paving of Hwy. 59 north through Larrabee.
And, last week, the DOT commission announced approval of the Hwy. 3/Hwy 143 intersection project (2021), paving of Hwy. 59 from Hwy. 3 to Hwy. 10 (2022), milling Hwy. 59 through Cherokee (2022), secondary overflow bridge on Hwy. 3 and replacement of the existing bridge in Cherokee and resurfacing by-pass (2026), resurfacing of C65 from Washta to Hwy. 59 (2022), and Silver Creek bridge replacement one mile west of Hwy. 59 (2025).